A night at the Brighton Beach Novotel

Pelican off Brighton Beach We took advantage of a cheap promotion to spend last night in the Brighton Beach Novotel. Despite the $50 rate we were given a corner terrace room overlooking the city, the airport and the beach.

My colleagues speak poorly of the hotel, complaining that it's far from the city centre and that the surrounding nightlife consists only of young mediterranean men circling the streets in noisy cars. For the two of us, the Novotel is a place of precious memories and dreams. Our wedding night was spent there and the next day we wandered the beach until it was time to catch our plane to Paris.  I would rather watch the planes take off or feel the sand under my feet than see the inside of a bar.

After storing our bags in our room B and I walked north along the bay and up towards the airport. We watched the fish scatter as we splashed our feet in shallow pools of water, keeping our eyes out for jellyfish washed up along the shore. The sea in Botany Bay was flat, the air hot and smokey. A wooden sailboat floated out into the bay, while birds stood guard atop the wooden posts of a dilapidated swimming area shark net.

At the end of the beach is the outlet for the Alexandria Canal, surrounded by rock walls. There we stopped and watched aircraft take off from Sydney Airport. We saw one of the new Jetstar A332 international flights and others arrive from and depart to Hong Kong, China and the US.

In the evening I swam in the pool and relaxed in the spa. B thought it was too cold and she had not brought her swimsuit. We searched for a shop that might sell such gear, but Brighton Le Sands must be one of the few places in Australia with more menswear than female.

Dinner was grilled lobster and salmon, which we ate besides the beach and followed up with delicious gelato. Then we retired to our room to watch a documentary on the first Chinese Emporer, a cruel, but determined man,who ordered the building of the terracotta warriors and the Great Wall. Good research for our upcoming trip.

While B slept, I saw the night out by watching the planes take-off into the night. The room featured a large outdoors area with seats, giving me an opportunity to enjoy the warm night air. Sydney Airport is a fascinating hive of activity and I could watch it for hours, dreaming of being on those planes, flying long hours across to Europe. Our next flight will be leaving late at night. It should be exciting to step out of the train from work and check in to our flight.

I could have stayed days longer at the hotel. It would be a perfect place to program (especially with wireless access now) or write in peace, punctuated by quiet walks along the beach. We will have to return.